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Chapter I--Idea of Theology






I. Definition.—Theology is the science of God and of the relations between God and the universe.

Though the word 'theology' is sometimes employed in dogmatic writings to designate that single department of the science which treats of the divine nature and attributes, prevailing usage, since Abelard (A. D. 1079-1142) entitled his general treatise "Theologia Christiana," has included under that term the whole range of Christian doctrine.

Theology, therefore, gives account not only of God, but of those relations between God and the material and spiritual universe in view of which we speak of Creation, Providence, and Redemption.

John the Evangelist is called by the Fathers ' the theologian," because he most fully treats of the internal relations of the persons of the Trinity. Gregory Nazlimzen (328) received this designation because he defended the deity of Christ against the Arians. For a modern instance of this use of the term 'theology' in the narrow sense, see title of Dr. Hodge's first volume: "Systematic Theology; Vol. 1: Theobigy." But theology is not simply " the science of God," nor even " the science of God and man." It also gives account of the relations between God and the universe.

Yet theology does not properly include other sciences—it merely uses their results; see Wardlaw, Theology, 1: 1,2. Physical science is not a part of theology. As a mere physicist, Humboldt did not need to mention the name of God in his "Cosmos" (but see Cosmos, 2: 413, where Humboldt says: "Psalm 104 presents an image of the whole Cosmos "). On the definition of theology, see Luthardt, Compendium dcr Dogmatik, 1, 3; Blunt, Diet. Doct. and Hist. Theology, art.: Theology: H. B. Smith, Introd. to Christ. Theol., 44; cf. Aristotle, Metaph., 10, 7, 4; 11, 6, 4; and Lactantlus, De Ira Dei, 11.

EL Aim.—In defining theology as a science, we indicate its aim. Science does not create; it discovers. Science is not only the observing, recording, verifying, and formulating of objective facts; it is also the recognition and explication of the relations between these facts, and the synthesis of both the facts and the rational principles which unite them, in a comprehensive, rightly proportioned, and organic system.

Theology answers to this description of a science. It discovers facts and relations, but does not create them. As it deals with objective facts and their relations, so its arrangement of these facts and relations is not optional, but determined by the nature of the material with which it deals.

In fine, the aim of theology may be stated as being the ascertainment of the facts respecting God and the relations between God and the universe, and the exhibition of these facts in their rational unity, as connected parts of a formulated and organic system of truth.

Scattered bricks and timbers are not a house, and facts alone do not constitute science. Science = facts -r relations. Whewell, Hist. Inductive Sciences, I., lntrod., 43: There may bo facts without science, as in every common mind; there may be thought without science, as in early Greek philosophy. Dove, Logic of the Christian Faith, 14— "The pursuit of science is the pursuit of relations." Everett, Science of Thought, 3: "Logy" (e. g. in "theology "), from Xoyot,— word 'reason, expression + thought, fact

idea; c/. John 1:1—" in th« beginning wis the Vord."

Because theology deals with objective facts, we refuse to define it as "the science of religion"; vermis Am. Theol. Rev., 1850: 101-120, and Thornwell, Theology, 1:13». Itoth the facts and the relations with which theology has to deal have an existence entirely independent of the subjective mental processes of the theologian. A true theology thinks over again God's thoughts and brings them into God's order, as the builders of Solomon's temple took the stones already hewn, and put them into the places for which the architect had designed them. We cannot make theology, any more than we can make a law of physical nature. As the natural philosopher is " natune minister et interpres." so the theologian is the servant and interpreter of the objective truth of God. On the Idea of Theology as a System, see H. 11. Smith, in Faith and Philosophy, 125-160.

III. Possibility.—A particular science is possible only when three conditions combine, namely, the actual existence of the object with which the science deals, the subjective capacity of the human mind to know that object, and the provision of definite means by which the object is brought into contact with the mind.

In like manner, the possibility of theology has a threefold ground: 1. In the existence of a God who has relations to the universe; 2. In the capacity of the human mind for knowing God and certain of these relations; and 3. In the provision of means by which God is brought into actual contact with the mind, or in other words, in the provision of a revelation.

We may illustrate the conditions of theology from selenology—the science not of "lunar politics," but of lunar physics. Selenology has three conditions: 1. the objective existence of the moon; 2. the subjective capacity of the human mind to know the moon; and 3. the provision of some means (t. Q. the eye and the telescope) by which the gulf between man and the moon is bridged over, and by which the mind can come into actual cognizance of the facts with regard to the moon.

1. In the existence of a God who has relations to the universe. It has been objected, indeed, that since God and these relations are objects apprehended only by faith, they are not proper objects of knowledge or subjects for science. We reply that faith is only a higher sort of knowledge. Physical science rests also upon faith—faith in our own existence and our own faculties, in our primitive cognitions and in human testimony—but is not invalidated thereby, because this faith, though unlike sense-perception or logical deduction, is yet a cognitive act of the reason, and may be defined as certitude with respect to matters in which verification is unattainable.

The objection to theology mentioned and answered above is expressed in the words of Sir William Hamilton, Metaphysics, 44, 531: "Faith—belief—is the organ by which we apprehend what Is beyond our knowledge." But science is knowledge, and what is beyond our knowledge cannot be matter for science. Pres. E. G. Robinson says well. that knowledge and faith cannot be severed from one another, like bulkheads in a ship, the first of which may be crushed in while the second still keeps tha vessel afloat. Hamilton consistently declares that the highest achievement of science is the erection of an altar " To The Unknown God." This however is not the representation of Scripture. Cf. John 17: 3—" this is lift eternal, that they should know thee, the only true God ;" and Jer. 9: 24— "let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth, and knowoth me." For criticism of Hamilton, see H. B. Smith, Faith and Philosophy, 2H7-336. Fichte: "We are born in faith." Ooethe called himself a believer in the five senses. Balfour, Defence of Philosophic Doubt, 277-295, shows that intuitive beliefs in space, time, cause, substance, right, are presupposed In the acquisition of all other knowledge. Dove, Logic of the Christian Faith, 1*: If theology is to be overthrown because It starts from some primary terms and propositions, then all other sciences are overthrown with it. Mozley, Miracles, 1(H, defines faith as " unverified reason."

So the faith which gives fit material for theology is not to be confounded with opinion or imagination. It is simply certitude with regard to spiritual realities, upon the testimony of our own rational nature and upon the testimony of God. Its only peculiarity as a cognitive act of the reason is, that it is conditioned by holy affection. As the sciences of (esthetics and ethics, respectively, are products of reason as including in the one case a power of recognizing beauty practically inseparable from a love for beauty, and in the other case a power of recognizing the morally right practically inseparable from a love for the morally right, so the science of theology is a product of reason, but of reason as including a power of recognizing God which is practically inseparable from a love for God.

In the text we use the term 'reason' to signify the mind's whole power of knowing. Keason, in this sense, includes states of the sensibility, so far as they are indispensable to knowledge. "We cannot know an orange by the eye alone; to the understanding of it, taste is as necessary as sight. Love for the beautiful and the right precedes knowledge of the beautiful and the right. Illinium draws attention to the derivation of sapkntlii, wisdom, from «tp£iT, to taste. So we cannot know God by intellect alone, the heart must go with the intellect to make knowledge of divine things possible. By the word " heart," the Scripture means simply holy affection, or sensibility + will. Cf. Bi. 35 : 25— "the women that were wise-hearted"; Ps. 34: 8-"0 lasts and see that the Lord is good" - a right taste precedes correct sight; Jer. 24: 7—" I will give them a heart to know me " ; Mat. 5: 8—" Blessed are the pore in heart, for they shall see God "; John 7:17—" If any man wiUeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God. or whether I speak of myself"; Bph. 1:18—" having the eyes of yonr heart enlightened, that ye may know ": 1 John 4: 7,8—" Every one that loveth is begotten of God and knowetb God, He that loveth not knoweth not God."

This recognition of invisible realities upon God's testimony, and as conditioned upon a right state of the affections, is faith. As an operation of man's higher rational nature, though distinct from ocular vision or from reasoning, it is a kind of knowing, and so may furnish proper material for a scientific theology.

Phlllppi, Glaubenslehre, 1: 50, follows Gerhard In making faith the joint act of intellect and will. Hopkins, Outline Study of Man, 77. 7K, speaks not only of the (esthetic reason but of the moral reason. Murphy, Scientific Bases of Faith, 91, 108, 145, 191— "Faith is the certitude concerning matters in which verification is unattainable." Emerson, Essays, 2: 98—" Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul—unbelief in rejecting them." Morell, Philos. of Keligion, 38, 52, 5it, quotes Coleridge: "Faith consists in the synthesis of the reason and the individual will,. . . and by virtue of the former (that is, reason), faith must be a light, a form of knowing, a beholding of truth." Faith, then, is not to be pictured as a blind girl clinging to a cross—faith is not blind—"else the cross may just as well be a crucifix or an image of Gaudama."

If a right state of heart be indispensable to faith and so to the knowledge of God, can there be any "theoUiyia irregenltonun," or theology of the unregenerate? We reply: Just as the blind man can have a science of optics. The testimony of others gives it claims upon him; the dim light penetrating the obscuring membrane corroborates this testimony. But as. In order to make his science of oplies satisfactory or complete, the blind man must have the cataract removed from his eyes by some competent oculist, so In order to any complete or satisfactory theology the veil must be taken away from the heart by God himself (cf. 2 Cor. 3:15, 16—" a veil lieth upon their heart. Bui whensoever it [marg. 'a man ] shall tarn to the lord, the yeil is taken away "). See Foundations of our Faith, 12, 13; Shedd, Hist. Doctrine, 1: 154-164: Presb. Quarterly, Oct., 1871, Oct., 1872, Oct., 1873; Calderwood, Philosophy of the Infinite, 1)9, 117; Van Oostcrzee, Dogmatics, 2-8; New Englauder, July, 1873: 481; Princeton Kev., 1894: 122; Chrlstlieb, Modern Doubt, 12*, 125; Grau, L'eber den Glauben als hiichste Vernunft, in lieweis des Glaubens, 1885: 110; Dorner, Geschichte prot. Theol., 228; Newman, Univ. Sermons, 206; Hinton, Art of Thinking, Introd. by Hodgson, 5.

2. In the capacity of the human mind for knowing God and certain of these relations. But it has been urged that such knowledge is impossible for the following reasons:

A. Because we can know only phenomena. We reply: (a) We know mental as well as physical phenomena. (6) In knowing phenomena, whether mental or physical, we know substance as underlying the phenomena, and as manifested through them, (c) Our minds bring to the observation of phenomena not only this knowledge of substance, but also the knowledge of time, space, and cause, realities which are iu no sense phenomenal. Since these objects of knowledge are not phenomenal, the fact that God is not phenomenal cannot prevent us from knowing him.

Vcrmx Comte, Positive Philosophy, Martineuu's transl., 28, 28, 33—" In order to observe, your intellect must pause from activity—yet it is this very activity you want to observe. If you cannot effect the pause, you cannot observe; if you do effect It, there is nothing to observe." The phrase "Positive Philosophy" Implies that all knowledge of mind is negative. This view Is refuted by the two facts of (1) consciousness, and (2) memory; see Murtincau, Essays Philos. and Theol., 1:24-40,207-212. By phenomena we mean " facts, in distinction from their ground, principle, or law "; "neither phenomena nor qualities, «s such, are perceived, but objects, percepts, or beings; and it la by an aftcrthought or reflex process that these are connected as qualities and are referred to as substances"; see Porter, Human Intellect, .11, 238, 520, 619837, 640-645. Phenomena may be internal, e.g. thoughts; in this case the noumenon is the mind, of which these thoughts are the manifestations. Qualities, whether mental or material, imply the existence of a substance to which they belong—mind or matter: they can no more be conceived of as existing apart from substance than the upper side of a plank can be conceived of as existing without an under side; see Bowne, Review of Herbert Spencer, 47, 207-217. Without substance in which they inhere, the qualities of an object have no ground of unity. The characteristics of substance are (1) being, (2) power, (3) permanence; see MeCosh, Intuitions, 138-154 (Eug.ed., 161). "The theory that disproves God, disproves an external world and the existence of the soul"; see Dlman, Theistie Argument, 337, 363. We know something beyond phenomena, viz.: law, cause, force—or we can have no science; see Tulloeh, on Comte, in Modern Theories, 53-73: see also Bib. Sac, 1874 : 211; Alden, Philosophy, 44; Hopkins, Outline Study of Man, 87; Fleming, Vocab. of Philosophy, art.: Phenomena; New Englander, July, 1875 : 537-539.

B. Because we can know only that which bears analogy to our own nature or experience. We reply: (a) It is not essential to knowledge that there be similarity of nature between the knower and the known. The mind knows matter, though mind and matter are opposite poles of existence. (b) Our past experience, although greatly facilitating new acquisitions, is not the measure of our possible knowledge. Else the first act of knowledge would be inexplicable, and all revelation of higher characters to lower would be precluded, as well as all progress to knowledge which surpassed our present attainments. (c) Even if knowledge depended upon similarity of nature and experience, we might still know God, since we are made in God's image, and there are important analogies between the divine nature and our own.

Vtrm* Herbert Spencer, First Principles, 79-82—" Knowledge is recognition and classification." But we reply that a thing must first be perceived, in order to be recognized, or compared with something else; see Porter, Human Intellect, 20(1; Sir Win. Hamilton, Metaphysics,3f>1, 352. We reject Monism in both its forms: 1. Materialism' which says that mind knows matter iM'cause mind is matter; and 2. Idealism, which says that mind knows matter because matter is mind. Porter. Human Intellect, 486— "Induction is possible only upon the assumption that the intellect of man is a reflex of the divine intellect, or that man is made in the image of God." Note, however, that man is made in God's image, not God In man's. The painting is the image of the landscape, not rirc ivrwi; for there is much in the landscape that has nothing corresponding to it in the painting. Idolatry perversely uutkes God in the image of man. Murphy, Scientific Bases, 122; McCosh. in International Rev., 1875: 105; Bib. Sac, 1KB": 684.

G. Because we know only that of which we can conceive, in the sense of forming an adequate mental image. We reply: (a) It is true that we know only that of which we can conceive, if by the term 'conceive' we mean our distinguishing in thought the object known from all other objects. But, (6) The objection confounds conception with that which is merely its occasional accompaniment and help, namely, the picturing of the object by the imagination. In this sense, conceivability is not a final test of truth, (c) That the formation of a mental image is not essential to conception or knowledge, is plain when we remember that, as a matter of fact, we both conceive and know many things of which we cannot form a mental image of any sort that in the least corresponds to the reality; for example, force, cause, law, space, our own mind.-i. So we may know God, although we cannot form an adequate mental image of him.

Vermis Herbert Spencer, First Principles, 25-36, 98- "The reality underlying appearances is totally and forever inconceivable by us." Per contra, see Mansel, Prolegomena Logiea, 77, 78 (cf. 28)—" The first distinguishing feature of a concept, viz.: that it cannot in itself be depicted to setise or imagination." Porter, Human Intellect, 392 (see also 429, 656)—" The is not a mental image: we recall an individual /tercept, one or many." Sir Wm. Hamilton: "The unpieturalvle notions of the intelligence." Martineau, Religion and Materialism, 39, 40—" This doctrine of Nescience stands in exactly the same relation to causal power, whether you construe It as Material Force or as Divine Agency. Neither can be iitmrved; one or the other must be amimed. If you admit to the category of knowledge only what we learn from observation, particular or generalized, then is Force unknown; If you extend the word to what is imported by the intellect itself into our cognitive acts, to make them such, then is God known." Spencer himself calls the inscrutable reality back of phenomena an infinite and absolute Force and Cause. "It seems," says Father Dalgairns, " that a great deal is known about the Unknowable." See McCosh, Intuitions, 186-189 (Eng. ed., 214); Murphy, Scientific Bases, 133: Bowne, Review of Spencer, 30-34; New Englander, July, 1875; 543,544; Oscar Craig, in Presb. Rev., July, 1883: 594—602.

D. Because we can know truly only that which we know in whole and not in part. We reply: (a) The objection confounds partial knowledge with the knowledge of a part. We know the mind in part, but we do not know a part of the mind. (/>) If the objection were valid, no real knowledge of anything would be possible, since we know no single thing in all its relations. We conclude that, although God is a being not composed of parts, we may yet have a partial knowledge of him, and this knowledge, though not exhaustive, may yet be real, and adequate to the purposes of science.

Versux Mansel, Limits of Rcllg. Thought, 97, 98. Per contra, see Martineau, Essays, 1:391. The mind does not exist in space, and has no parts (sides, corners). Yet we And the material for mental science in partial knowledge of the mind. We are notgeographers of the divine nature"—Bowne, Review of Spencer, 73—but we say with Paul, not" now know we a part of God," but "now know w« [God] in part" (1 Cor. 13 :12); <■/. John 17 : 3 —" this is life eternal, that they should know thee, the only true God;" Jer. 9 : 24- "let him that gloneth glory in this, that he understandeth, and knoweth me." We may know truly what we do not know exhaustively; see Iph. 3 :19—"to know the loTe of Christ which passeth knowledge." Dorner: "Only he who knows God, knows his unfathomableness."

E. Because all predicates of God are negative, and therefore furnish no real knowledge. We answer: (a) Predicates derived from our own consciousness, such as spirit, love, and holiness, are positive. (6) The terms 'infinite' and 'absolute', moreover, express not merely a negative but a positive idea—the idea, in the former case, of the absence of all limit, the idea that the object thus described goes on and on forever; the idea, in the latter case, of entire self-sufficiency. Since predicates of God, therefore, are not merely negative, the argument mentioned above furnishes no valid reason why we may not know him.

Verxux Sir Wm. Hamilton, Metaph., 530—"The absolute and the infinite can each only be conceived as a negation of the thinkable; in other words, of the al>solute and infinite we have no conception at all." Hamilton here confounds the infinite, or the absence of all limits, with the indefinite, or the ubsence of all known limits. Pf.r contra, see Oalderwood, Moral Philosophy, 34#; Philosophy of the Infinite, 372—" Negation of one thing is possible only by affirmation of another." McCosh, Intuitions, 194, note; Porter, Human Intellect, 651, 052; Mivart, L<;ssons from Nature, 3R3. Yet a plum1 which is unlimited iu the one respect of length may be limited in other respects, s*uch as breadth. Our doctrine here is not therefore inconsistent with what immediately follows.

P. Because to know is to limit or define. Hence the Absolute as unlimited, and the Infinite as undefined, cannot be known. We answer: (a) God is absolute, not as existing in no relation, but as existing in no necessary relation; and, (b) God is infinite, not as excluding all co-existence of the finite with himself, but as being the ground of the finite, and so unfettered by it. (c) God is actually limited by the unchangeableuess of his own attributes and personal distinctions, as well as by his self-chosen relations to the universe he has created and to humanity in the person of Christ. God is therefore limited and defined in such a sense as to render knowledge of him possible.

Vcrmtx Manscl, Limits of Religious Thought, 75-84, 93-95. CI. Spinoza: "Dcterminatio est negatio "; hence to define God is to deny him. Hut we deny that all limitation is imperfection. Man can be other than he is. Not so God—at least internally. Rut this limitation, inherent in his unchangeable attributes and personal distinctions, is his perfection. Externally, all limitations upon God are self-limitations, and so are consistent with his perfection. That God should not be able thus to limit himself in creation and redemption would render all self-sacrifice in him impossible, and so would subject him to the greatest of limitations. Perfection necessarily implies the power of self-limitation. Pee Pfleiderer. Die Religion, 1:189, 195; Porter, Human Intellect, 853; Murphy, Scientific Bases, 130; Calderwood, Philos. of Inf., 108; McCosh, Intuitions, 188; Hickok, Rational Cosmology, 85.

G. Because all knowledge is relative to the knowing agent; that is, what we know, we know, not as it is objectively, but only as it is related to our own senses and faculties. In reply: (a) We grant that we can know only that which has relation to our faculties. But this is simply to say that we know only that which we come into mental contact with, that is, we knowonly what we know. But, (b) We deny that what we come into mental contact with is known by us as other than it is. So far as it is known at all, it is known as it is. In other words, the laws of our knowing are not merely arbitrary and regulative, but correspond to the nature of things. We conclude that, in theology, we are equally warranted in assuming that the laws of our thought are laws of God's thought, and that the results of normally conducted thinking with regard to God correspond to the objective reality.

Vermin Sir Wm. Hamilton, Metapb., 96-116, and H. Spencer, First Principles, 68-9". The doctrine of relativity Is derived from Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, who holds that a priori judgments are simply "regulative." But we reply that when our primitive beliefs are found to be simply regulative, they will cease to regulate. The forms of thought are also facts of nature. The mind dots not, like the glass of a kaleidoscope, itself furnish the forms; it recognizes these as having an existence external to itself; see Bishop Temple, Hampton Lectures for 1884: 13. W. T. Harris, In Journ. Spec. Philosophy, 1:22, exposes Herbert Spencer's self-contradiction: "All knowledge is, not absolute, but relative; our knowledge of this fact however is, not relative, but absolute." On Sir Wm. Hamilton's theory of knowledge, see H. B. Smith, Faith and Philosophy, 297-336; J. S. Mill, Examination, 1 : 113-134; Herbert, Modern Realism Examined; Pres. M. B. Anderson, art.: "Hamilton," In Johnson's Encyclopaedia; McCosh, intuitions, 139-146,340,341, and Christianity and Positivism, 97-123; Maurice, What is Revelation? Alden, Intellectual Philos., 48-79 (esp. 71-79); Porter, Human Int., 523: Murphy, Scientific Bases, 103; Bib. Sac., Apr., 1868; 341; Princeton Rev., 1864: 122; Bowne, Review of H. Spencer, 76; Bowen, in Princeton Rev., Mar., 1878: 44.V-448; Mind, April, 1878: 257; Carpenter, Mental Physiology, 117; Harris, Philos. Basis of Theism, 109-113; Inverach, in Present Day Tracts, 5: no. 29.

3. In God's actual revelation of himself and certain of these relations. As we do not in this place attempt a positive proof of God's existence or of man's capacity for the knowledge of God, so we do not now attempt to prove that God has brought himself into contact with man's mind by revelation. We shall consider the grounds of this belief hereafter. Our aim at present is simply to show that, granting the fact of revelation, a scientific theology is possible. This has been denied upon the following grounds.

A. That revelation, as a making known, is net jssarily internal and subjective—either a mode of intelligence, or a quickening of man's cognitive powers—and hence can furnish no objective facts such as constitute the proper material for science.

The objection here mentioned is urged by the idealistic school of thinkers, as the objections previously considered are mainly urged by those who incline to materialism. As the pendulum of thought seems now about to swing once more in the direction of idealism, a careful examination of the objection before us is indispensable. It may be found stated in Morell, Philos. of Religion, 128-131, 143—"The Bible cannot in strict accuracy of language be called a revelation, since a revelation always implies an actual process of intelligence in a living mind"; F. W. Newman. Phases of Faith, 152—"Of our moral and spiritual God we know nothing without—everything within "; Theodore Parker: "Verbal revelation can never communicate a simple idea like that of God, Justice, Love, Religion "; see review of Parker in Bib. Sac, 18 : 24-27.

In reply to this objection,

(a) We grant that revelation, to be effective, must be the means of inducing a new mode of intelligence, or, in other words, must be understood. We grant that this understanding of divine things is impossible without a quickening of man's cognitive powers. We grant, moreover, that revelation, when originally imparted, was often internal and subjective.

(6) But we deny that external revelation is therefore useless or impossible. Even if religious ideas sprang up wholly from within, an external revelation might stir up the dormant powers of the mind. Religious ideas, however, do not spring wholly from within. External revelation can impart them. Man can reveal himself to man by external communications, and if God has equal power with man, God can reveal himself to man in like manner.

(c) Hence God's revelation may be, and, as we shall hereafter see, it is, in great part, an external revelation in works and words. We claim, moreover, that in many cases where truth was originally communicated internally, the same Spirit who communicated it has brought about an external record of it and so has insured its preservation in permanent and written form.

d) With this external record we shall also see that there is given upon proper conditions a special influence of God's Spirit, so to quicken our cognitive powers that the external record reproduces in our minds the ideas with which the minds of the writers were at first divinely filled.

(e) Internal revelations thus recorded, and external revelations thus interpreted, both furnish objective facts which may serve as proper material for science. Although revelation in its widest sense may include, and as constituting the ground of the possibility of theology does include, both insight and illumination, it may also be used to denote simply a provision of the external means of knowledge, and theology has to do with inward revelations only as they are expressed in, or as they agree with, this objective standard.

We may illustrate the need of internal revelation from Egyptology, which is impossible so long: as the external revelation in the hieroglyphics is uninterpreted. External revelation (^aWpioo-is. Rom. 1:19, 20) must by supplemented by Internal revelation (iiro«<iAui(iit, 1 Cor. 2 10-12). Christ is the organ of external, the Holy Spirit the organ of internal, revelation. In Christ (2 Cor. 1: 20) are " the yea." and "the linen = the objective certainty and the subjective certitude, the reality and the realization. Revelation objective, as at Sinai; subjective, as in Elisha's knowledge of Geh&zi (2 I. 5:26). On the whole subject, see Kahilis, Dogmatik, 3 : 37-43; Nitzsch, Syst. Christ. Doctrine, 72; Luthardt, Fund. Truths, 193; Auberlen, Dlv. Rev., Introd., 29; Martineau, Essays, 1 :171, 280; Bib. Sac, 1887: 593, and 1872: 428; Porter, Hum. Intellect, 373-375; Mead, In Boston Lectures, 1871: 68.

B. That many of the truths thus revealed are too indefinite to constitute the material for science, because they belong to the region of the feelings, because they are beyond our full understanding, or because they are destitute of orderly arrangement.

See Jacobi and Schleiermacher, who regard theology as a mere account of devout Christian feelings, the grounding of which in objective historical facts is a matter of comparative indifference; see Hagenbach, Hist. Doctrine, 2 : 401-403. Allied to this is the view of Feuerbach, to whom religion is a matter of subjective fancy, and the view of Tyndall, who would remit theology to the region of vague feeling and aspiration, but would exclude it from tho realm of science: see Feuerbach, Essence of Christianity, translated by Marian Evans, and Tyndall, Belfast Address.

We reply:

(a) Theology has to do with subjective feelings only as they can be defined, and shown to be effects of objective truth upon the mind. These are not more obscure than the facts of morals or psychology, and the same objection which would exclude such feelings from theology, would make these latter sciences impossible. Moreover,

(6) Those facts of revelation which are beyond our full understanding, may, like the nebular hypothesis in astronomy or the atomic theory in chemistry, furnish a principle of union between great classes of other facts otherwise irreconcilable. We may define our concepts of God, and even of the Trinity, at least sufficiently to distinguish them from all other concepts, and whatever difficulty may encumber the putting of them into language only shows the importance of attempting it and the value of even an approximate success.

(c) Even though there were no orderly arrangement of these facts, either in nature or in Scripture, an accurate systematizing of them by the human mind would not thereby be proved impossible, unless a principle were assumed which would show all physical science to be equally impossible. Astronomy and geology are constructed by putting together multitudinous facts which at first sight seem to have no order. So with theology. And yet, although revelation does not present to us a dogmatic system readymade, a dogmatic system is not only implicitly contained therein, but parts of the system are wrought out in the epistles of the New Testament, as for example in Bom. 5 :12-19; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; 8:6; 1 Tim. 3 :16; Heb. 6:1,2.

We may illustrate the construction of theology from the dissected map, two pieces of which are already put together. Origen: God gives us truth in single threads, which we must weave into a finished texture. Scripture hints at the possibilities of combination, in Rom. 5 :12-19, with its grouping of the facts of sin and salvation about the two persons. Adam and Christ; in Rom. 4 : 24. 25, with Its linking of the resurrection of Christ and our Justification; in 1 Cor. 8 : 6, with its indication of the relations between the Father and Christ; in 1 Tim. 3 :16, with its poetical nummary of the facts of redemption {see Commentaries of DeWette, Meyer, Fnirbairn); in Heb. 6 :1,2, with its statement of the first principles of the Christian faith. On the whole subject see Martlneau, Essays, 1 : 29, 40: Am. Theol. Rev., 1858:101-136—art. on the Idem Sources, and Uses of Christian Theology.

IV. Necessity.—The necessity of theology has its grounds (a) In the organizing instinct of the human mind. This organizing principle is a part of our constitution. The mind cannot endure confusion or apparent contradiction in known facts. The tendency to harmonize and unify its knowledge appears so soon as the mind becomes reflective; just in proportion to its endowments and culture, does the impulse to systematize and formulate increase. This is true of all tlepartments of human inquiry, but it is peculiarly true of our knowledge of God. Since the truth with regard to God is the most important of all, theology meets the deepest want of man's rational nature. Theology is a rational necessity. If all existing theological systems were destroyed to-day, new systems would rise to-morrow. So inevitable is the operation of this law that those who most decry theology, show nevertheless that they have made a theology for themselves, and often one sufficiently meagre and blundering. Hostility to theology, where it does not originate in mistaken fears for the corruption of God's truth, or in a naturally illogical structure of mind, often proceeds from a license of speculation which cannot brook the restraints of a complete Scriptural system.

•" Every man has as much theology as he can hold." Consciously or unconsciously, we philosophize, as naturally as we speak prose. See Sliedd, Discourses and Essays, 27-53; Murphy, Scientific Bases of Faith, 195-199.

(6) In the relation of systematic truth to the development of character. Truth thoroughly digested is essential to the growth of Christian character in the individual and in the church. All knowledge of God has its influence upon character, but most of all the knowledge of spiritual facts in their relations. Theology cannot, as has sometimes been objected, deaden the religious affections, since it only draws out from their sources and puts into rational connection with each other the truths which are best adapted to nourish the religious affections. On the other hand, the strongest Christians are those who have firmest grasp upon the great doctrines of Christianity; the heroic ages of the church have been those which have witnessed most consistently to them; the piety that can be injured by the systematic exhibition of them must be weak, or mystical, or mistaken.

Some theology is necessary to conversion—at least, knowledge of sin and knowledge of a Savior. For texts which represent truth as nourishment, see Jer. 3 :15—" feed you with knowledge and understanding "; Mat. 4 : 4—" man shall not live by breed alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God "; 1 Cor. 3:1, 2—" babes in Christ .... I fed you with milk, not with meal"; Heb. 5 : 14 —" but solid food is for full-grown men." Christian morality is ft fruit which grows only from the tree of doctrine. Christian character rests upon Christian truth as its foundation; see 1 Cor. 3 :12-15—''I laid a foundation, and another buildeth thereon." See Dorus Clarke, Saying the Catechism; Simon, on Christ. Doctrine and Life, in Bib. Sac., July, 1884: 431-449.

(c) In the importance to the preacher of definite and just views of doctritie. His chief intellectual qualification must be the power clearly and comprehensively to conceive, and accurately and powerfully to express, the truth. He can be the agent of the Holy Spirit in converting and sanctifying men, only as he can wield "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6 : 17), or, in other language, only as he can impress truth upon the minds and consciences of his hearers. Nothing more certainly nullifies his efforts than confusion and inconsistency in his statements of doctrine. His object is to replace obscure and erroneous conceptions among his hearers by those which are correct and vivid. He cannot do this without knowing the facts with regard to God in their relations—knowing them, in short, as parts of a system. With this truth he is put in trust. To mutilate it or misrepresent it, is not only sin against the Bevealer of it —it may also prove the ruin of men's souls. The best safeguard against such mutilation or misrepresentation, is the diligent study of the several doctrines of the faith in their relations to each other, and especially to the central theme of theology, the person and work of Jesus Christ.

The more reflnod and reflective the age, the more it requires reasons for feeling. Imagination (poetry, eloquence, political and military enthusiasm) Is not less strong, but more rational. Progress from "Buncombe," in forensic oratory, to sensible and logical address. In pulpit oratory, mere Scripture quotation and fervid appeal are no longer sufficient. The preacher must furnish n basis for feeling by producing intelligent conviction. He must instruct before he can move. Spurgeon: "We Bhall never have great preachers until we have great, divines. You cannot build a man-of-war out of a currant-bush, nor can great soul-moving preachers be formed out of superficial students." Illustrate by mistake in physician's prescription, and by sowing crop of acorns.

(d) In the intimate connection between correct doctrine and the safety and aggressive power of the church. The safety and progress of the church is dependent upon her '' holding the pattern of sound words" (2 Tim. 1 : 13), and serving as "pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3 : 15). Defective understanding of the truth results sooner or later in defects of organization, of operation, and of life. Thorough comprehension of Christian truth as an organized system furnishes, on the other hand, not only an invaluable defense against heresy and immorality, but also an indispensable stimulus and instrument in aggressive labor for the world's conversion.

The creeds of the church have not originated in mere speculative curiosity and logical hair-splitting. They are statements of doctrine in which the attacked and imperiled church has sought to express the truth which constitutes her very life. Those who deride the early creeds have small conception of the intellectual acumen and the moral earnestness which went to the making of them. The creeds of the third and fourth centuries embody the results of controversies which exhausted the possibilities of heresy with regard to the Trinity and the Person of Christ, and which set up bars against false doctrine to the end of time.

(e) In the direct and indirect injunction* of Scripture. The Scriptures urge upon us the thorough and comprehensive study of the truth (John 5:39, maxg., "Search the Scriptures"), the comparing and harmonizing of its different parts (1 Cor. 2: 13, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual"), the gathering of all about the great central fact of revelation (Col. 1 : 27, "which is Christ in you, the hope of glory "), the preaching of it in its wholeness as well as in its due proportions (2 Tim. 4 : 2, "Preach the word"). The minister of the gospel is called "a scribe who hath been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven" (Mat. 13 : 52); the "pastors" of the churches are at the same time to be "teachers" (Eph. 4 : 11); the bishop must be "apt to teach " (1 Tim. 3 : 2), "handling aright the word of truth " (2 Tim. 2 : 15), "holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in the sound doctrine and to convict the gainsayers " (Tit. 1 : 9).

As a means of instructing the church and of securing progress in his own understanding of Christian truth, it is well for the pastor to preach regularly each month a doctrinal sermon, and to expound in course the principal articles of the faith. The treatment of doctrine in these sermons should be simple enough to he comprehensible by intelligent youth; it should tie made vivid and interesting by the help of brief illustrations; and at least one-third of each sermon should be devoted to the practical applications of the doctrine propounded.

V. Relation To Religion.—Theology and religion are related to each other as effects, in different spheres, of the same cause. As theology is an effect produced in the sphere of systematic thought by the facts respecting God and the relations between God and the universe, so religion is an effect which these facts produce in the sphere of individual or collective life. With regard to the term 'religion ', notice:

1. Derivation.

(a) The derivation from religare, 'to bind' or 'to bind back' (man to God I, is negatived by the authority of Cicero and of the best modern etymologists; by the difficulty, on this hypothesis, of explaining such forms as religio, religens; and by the necessity, in that case, of presupposing a fuller knowledge of sin and redemption than was common to the ancient heathen world.

For advocacy of the derivation of rtUgin, as meaning ' binding duty,' from rrlignrr. see Lange, Dogmatik, 1: 185-UW. Lange cites rehcUin, from rcheltare, and optui. from irptare. but we reply that many verbs of the first conjugation are derived from obsolete verbs of the third conjugation.

(6) The more correct derivation is from relagere, 'to go over again,' 'carefully to ponder.' Its original meaning is therefore 'reverent observance ' (of duties due to the gods). For the derivation favored In the text, see Curtius, Oriechische Etymologie, 5te Aufl., 364; Fick, Vergl. Wcirterb. der Indoger. Spr., 2 : 227: Vanicek, Gr.-Lat. Etym. Wfirtcrb.. 2: 829; Andrews, Latin Lexicon, in nice; Nitzsch, System of Christ. Doctrine, 7; Van Oosterzec, Dogmatics, 75-77; Philippi, Glaubenslehre, 1:6; Kahnis, Dogmatik, 3 :18.

2. False conceptions.

(a) Religion is not merely, as Hegel declared, a kind of knowing; for it would then be only an incomplete form of philosophy, and the measure of knowledge in each case would be the measure of piety.

In a syttem of idealistic pantheism, God is the subject of religion as well as its object. Religion = God's knowing himself through the human consciousness. The Gnostics, Stapler, Henry VIII, show that there may be much theological knowledge without true religion. Inaccuracy of Chlllingworth's maxim: "The Hible only, the religion of Protestants." bee Hamerton, Intel. Life, 211; Bib. Sac, 9: 374. On Hegel, see Porter, Human Intellect, 59, 00, 412, 525, 529, 532, 536, 589, 650.

(It) Religion is not, as Schleiermacher held, the mere feeling of dependence; for such feeling is not religious, unless exercised toward God and accompanied by moral effort.

Position of Schleiermacher in German theology, as transition from the old rationalism to evangelical faith. *' Like Lazarus, with the grave-clothes of a pantheistic philosophy entangling his steps," yet with a Moravian experience of the life of God in the soul, he based religion upon the inner certainties of Christian feeling. But though faith begins in feeling, it does not end there. Valuelessness of mere feeling shown in emotions of

theatre-goers, and in occasional phenomena of revivals. Vf. James 1: 27—" Pure religion

is uus. To visit the fatherless"; 2 :17—" faith without works is dead." On Schleiermacher, see Bib. Sac., Apr., 1852:375; July, 1883:534; Liddon, Elements of Religion, lect. i; Ebrard, Dogmatik, 1:14; Julius Mliiler, Doct. Sin, 1:175; Hagenbach, Encyclop.. 2te Aufl., 13:525-571; Fisher, Essays on Supernat. Orig. of Christianity, 563-570; Caird, Philos. of Religion, 160-188. On emotional excitement in preaching, see Kerfoot, in Bap. Rev., April, 1884: 167-184.

(<•) Religion is not, as Kant maintained, morality or moral action; for morality is conformity to an abstract law of right, while religion is essentially a relation to a person, from whom the soul receives blessing and to whom it surrenders itself in love and obedience.

Kant, Kritik der praktiscben Verntinft. Beschluss: "I know of but two beautiful things, the starry heavens above my head and the sense of duty within my heart." But the mere sense of duty only distresses. Objections to the word "obey " as the imperative of religion: (1) It makes religion a matter of will only. (2) Will presupposes affection. (3) Love is not subject to will. (4) It makes God all law and no grace. (5) It makes the Christian a servant only, not a friend. See Shedd, Sermons to the Natural Man, 244-246; Liddon, Elements of Religion, 19. IVmiK Matthew Arnold: Religion is " Ethics heightened, enkindled, lit up by feeling." This leaves out of view the receptive element in religion, as well as its relation to a personal God.

3. Essential idea.

Religion in its essential idea is a life in God, or, in other words, a life lived in recognition of God, in communion with God, and under control of the indwelling Spirit of God. Since it is a life, it cannot be described as consisting solely in the exercise of any one of the powers of intellect, affection, or will. As physical life involves the unity and cooperation of all the organs of the body, so religion, or spiritual life, involves the united working of all the powers of the soul. To feeling, however, we must assign the logical priority, since holy affection toward God, imparted in regeneration, is the condition of truly knowing God and of truly serving him.

See Godet, on the Ultimate Design of Man—"God in man and man in God"—In Princeton Rev., Nov., 1880; Pfieiderer, Die Religion, 5-79, and Religionsphilosophie, 255: Religion is " Sache des ganzen Geisteslebens." Van Oosterzee, Dogmatics, 81-85: Julius Mttller, Doctrine of Sin, 2 : 227; Nitzsch, System of Christ. Doctrine, 10-28; Luthardt, Fund. Truths, 147; Twesten, Dogmatik, 1:12. Query: Can a man, in strict propriety of speech, be said to "get religion"?

4. Inferences.

From this definition of religion it follows:

(a) That in strictness there is but one religion. Man is a religious being, indeed, as having the capacity for this divine life. He is actually religious, however, only when he enters into this living relation to God. False religions are the caricatures which men given to sin, or the imaginations which men groping after light, form of this life of the soul in God.

Van Oosterzee, Dogmatics, 88-93; Peabody, Christianity the Religion of Nature, 18— "If Christianity be true, it is not a religion, but Hie religion. If Judaism be also true, it is so not as distinct from but as coincident with Christianity, the one religion to which it can bear only the relation of the part to the whole. If there be portions of truth in other religious systems, they an; not portions of other religions, but portions of the one religion which somehow or other became incorporated with fables and falsities."

(6) That the content of religion is greater than that of theology. The facts of religion come within the range of theology only so far as they can be definitely conceived, accurately expressed in language, and brought into rational relation to each other.

(c) That religion is to be distinguished from formal worship, which is simply the outward expression of religion. As such expression, worship is "formal communion between God and his people." In it God speaks to man and man to God. It, therefore, properly includes the reading of Scripture and preaching on the side of God, and prayer and song on the side of the people.

On the relation between religion and worship, see art. by Prof. Day, in New Englander, Jan., 1882.